Published Author | Global Traveller | Social Media Expert
I have been performing as "Windmills" for the past 5 years.
In that time I have released two full-length albums, one EP, toured across Canada multiple times, received grants between $1,500-$10,000 for my recordings and music videos, have 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify with over 700,000 streams on my music, received radio play both domestic and internationally, and have had my hand in every facet of the industry.
If I can pass on any information, be it creating a social media presence to launching a successful marketing campaign or album release, I will. The music industry is labyrinthian at times and can seem impossible to navigate. I would love to answer any and all questions you may have, across the board, about being a musician, finding success, setting goals and reaching them, and to always "keep moving".
Questions & Answers
Briefings & Explanations
Interviews (On Record)
Interviews (Off Record)
•How I managed both full-time work and full-time University all while touring and creating music.
•My personal views on songwriting and composition.
•How to apply for grants, seek press releases and pitch your product.
•Navigating your mental well-being and mental health in an often unforgiving industry built on failure and success.
•How I ended up here as a self-taught musician.
•What my personal philosphy "windmills keep moving" means, and how I've attributed it to both my music and personal life.
•My Salary, Rates, Income & Benefits
•My Current Role & Responsibilities
•What I am Currently Working on
•How I got to where I am Today
•What I Enjoy Most/Least About my Career
•Recommendations For Anyone Entering my Career or Industry
•Who I Follow: Influencers, Idols, Industry Leaders etc.
•My Education, Training & Qualifications
•My Biggest Challenges, Successes, Failures & Lessons Learned
•My Values, Beliefs, Philosophies and/or Political Views
•Issues I Care Most About Right Now & Why
•Daily Practices, Habits & Strategies
My aim is to provide quality examples and advice in how to further your music career, in many differing facets of the industry. My experiences in the music world can offer constructive feedback, personal trials and tribulations, and any advice you're after to help further and progress your own career.
Maybe you're just starting to write your first songs, or maybe you've been playing shows for awhile and are looking to take things to the next step.
Being a musician is far from the glamour and lavish lifestyle we're so often fed through media. It's crucial to understand the importance of failure and success, especially in the early phases of your career, and how to navigate through these ups and downs in positive ways. I can offer you tales from the road, my own personal triumphs and tragedies, highs and lows, and let you know what's worked and what hasn't in my journey down this path.
I can help in a multitude of ways, if you're looking for creative and constructive feedback on songs, help managing and growing a social media page - across all platforms, or the ins-and-outs of booking your own tour. I've lived through it all and I've had experience with everything and anything musically related. I can help you fine-tune your songwriting, musically and lyrically and can be a sounding board for ideas and insights.
In 5 years I have:
- released two full-length albums, and one EP independently both physically and digitally with sales across the globe.
- toured across Canada multiple times - each time booking my own tours and working out all aspects of the runs.
- received grants from FACTOR Canada for my albums totalling $3,500.
- received a grant from TELUS and Storyhive for $10,000 to produce my own music video.
- performed at music festivals like Rifflandia, Shambhala, Arts Wells, Taste of Edmonton, Khatsalano.
- grown successful social media accounts and reached active listeners and fans on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Twitter.
- placed in the top 12 (out of 400 bands) in BC's PEAK Performance Project.
- had my songs premiered on Indie Shuffle, Exclaim!, and played on radio in Canada and internationally.
On top of this I've had my own personal writing published in various magazines in Canada and have a degree in English Literature in Critical Theory, always striving to improve my craft and learn from my mistakes. My road hasn't been perfect, or easy, but I've managed to reach my own version of success in the few short years I've been Windmills.
From managing social media, booking tours, applying for album and music video grants, being the only member and driving force behind Windmills has taught me so much. From little tips and tricks to navigating performance contracts and licensing contracts, working with companies internationally with my music, and constantly improving in my field and fine-tuning my songwriting, there hasn't been a single aspect of Windmills I haven't had my hand in.
In 5 years I have:
- been nominated three times and won once in the "Best Musician" category for Kelowna's "Best Of Kelowna" online voting
- received two FACTOR grants to go towards the creation of my albums
- received a $10,000 grant from TELUS and Storyhive to create a music video
- placed in the top 12 of British Columbia's PEAK Performance Project, a prestigious artist development program
- grown my social media to have over 10,000 organic followers globally
- achieved radio play in Canada, the USA, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Peru, Colombia, South Korea and Japan
- toured across Canada three separate times
- performed at festivals such as Shambhala, Rifflandia, Arts Wells, Taste of Edmonton, Canadian Music Week, Khatshalano, Golden Sound Festival
- opened for bands like Half Moon Run, David Vertesi, Hey Ocean!, Said the Whale, We Are The City, Andrew Allen
Somehow I had the time to maintain a remarkably crazy and often hectic schedule with Windmills while attending University to get my degree. At while at times I drove myself crazy, the experience was extremely worthwhile. Not only was I able to fine-tune my writing as an English major, I was exposed to such an amazing variety of authors and writing styles, I learned the theory behind writing, and I was able to ingrain my musical identity into my University identity, performing at a number of campus events and growing my fanbase even more.
There's no doubt that my degree has strengthened my ability to articulate my goals and plans when it comes to grant applications, as well as being able to concisely write booking requests, festival applications, and navigate performance contracts.
There is so much beauty to pull from in every discipline imaginable that sometimes when I'm asked where my inspiration comes from I fumble at finding the right way to articulate it.
So best I can, here is a list of some of my inspirations, influences, personal heroes, and things I love in general that have inspired Windmills along the way.
... and about a million more ad infinitum ...
Things I'm constantly inspired by:
Inspiration isn't one thing. There's sounds in my songs that are inspired by anything and everything.
At it's simplest I've hidden African percussion and instrumentation in my very Western songs, I've sampled things like the creak a piano chair makes when sat on, pots and pans, old movie dialogue, anything that can add to the sonics of a song. I've been inspired by films, and how the film score can deeply affect how you view the movie as a whole. My musical influences range from my contemporaries and peers, to classical composers, genres I have no connection to, and many others.
As a musician, or any creative for that matter, there should be no limit to your inspiration and your influences, these are what help you find your voice, these will only help you grow.
The third song from my album, "Measures" - "Her's Place" quickly became one of my most popular songs, especially on Spotify, where it currently has just under 336,000 plays in the last year, and sits on 4 different playlists on the platform.
One of the most personal songs I've ever written, "Her's Place" is a reflection of my youth and a self-conscious effort to grapple with mortality, be it my own, my family's, or the mortality of a specific place and memory; something we are helpless to save as it alters with time.
Most importantly, this song is for m Grandmother.
There are so many important aspects to being a musician, but the one that sits right up at the top is: live performance.
This is how you gain those lasting impressions with your fans, how you turn an online "like" into a real fan, your best point of sale with your audience, and the opportunity to take your songs across the country. I've made an effort to play as many shows as possible in the last 5 years, and as many different and unique shows as possible as well. From house concerts, to art parties, dingy bar shows, private events, music festivals across Canada, and showcases, there should be no end to your hunger to play your music live.
Photos from left to right: Performing at Shambhala 2015; the Barfly in Montreal, Taste of Edmonton 2013
Filmed on the coldest Monday in 2014, I had the idea to film myself in a room full of lamps and see what happened.
The goal behind this video was to create a standalone and memorable video I could later use for festival applications, grant applications, and more specifically, my application for the 2015 PEAK Performance Project.
Ultimately my goal was a success, out of 400 bands that applied for the PEAK in 2015, I was one of 12 that were chosen to experience this career changing artist development program.
On a very basic level, windmills convert energy.
As an artist, Windmills does much the same thing, taking personal tragedies, triumphs and memories and transforming them into songs dripping with heartbreak and anguish. Windmills is the moniker of moody indie swoon pop artist, Cory Myraas. Based in British Columbia’s picturesque Okanagan Valley, Windmills burst forth in the spring of 2011.
Impressive both on record and in concert, Windmills has since developed a significant following in the BC interior and beyond. It’s easy to see why. A clever songwriter with strong lyrical command, the words in a Windmills song are always accompanied by a soundscape that tells you how to feel. A genuine one-man show, this is a musician in charge of his craft. He has also become the Okanagan Valley music scene’s semi-reluctant heartthrob - handsome, tattooed and slender with a voluminous flop of magical hair, this is a man that gets marriage proposals via Twitter.
However, that’s secondary to the music. Since 2011, he has released two full-length records - 2012’s Keep Moving and 2015’s Measures - and a 5-track 2013 EP, Tilting. Windmills has also completed multiple Canadian tours, secured performance spots at festivals like Rifflandia and Shambhala and reached the Top 12 of the prestigious 2015 PEAK Performance Project. All the while his popularity continues to grow, with his two most listened to songs on Spotify - both from Measures - amassing more than 700,000 plays at the time of writing.
His music has champions well beyond the boundaries of his native Okanagan, with his sounds being well received in Canada and internationally, from the US to Asia and many countries in between. Importantly, there’s a clear evolution in the Windmills sound, and his songwriting continues to develop becoming stronger and more mature.
In addition to his album releases, Windmills makes a consistent effort to play as many shows as he can, polishing his live sound, increasing his listenership and regularly winning over new fans. The next chapter of the Windmills story is still to be written, but it promises to be fascinating. Windmills keep moving.
Directed by Brandon William Fletcher
Produced by Brandon William Fletcher & Cory Myraas
Shame was funded ($10,000) but TELUS and Storyhive.
Out of all the bands that applied across BC and Alberta, Storyhive selected 10 bands from each province to award a $10,000 music video grant. This was the project we created.
Filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia.
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